Are liberals too optimistic about 2018? Yup.
President Donald Trump is the real Teflon Don. John Gotti died in prison. Don’t count on that happening to this Teflon Don. Just when you think you’ve got him, you realize he’s got you. Here are five things liberals don’t get about Trump:
1. Hating Trump is not enough to build a blue wave
Democrats seem to feel that President Trump’s horrendous approval ratings, various scandals along with their visceral hatred of the man will be enough to create a wave from the great blue yonder in 2018. There are two main problems with this.
The first one is that depending on a negative, no matter how extreme that negative may seem, does not replace the fact that the party itself is up shit creek without a platform. If one had to choose a platform for the Democratic Party right now, it might be, “Hey, it’s a start” or “It’s better than nothing.”
So Obamacare led to higher premiums and many of its issues were ignored by Congressional Democrats because there were 28 million new names on the rolls but, “Hey, it’s better than nothing.”
Or this one: The fact that it’s hard to show how new gun laws would cut down on mass shootings considering how many guns are already out there always leads to an “It’s better than nothing.”
That’s not enough. Democrats have to put together a razor sharp platform with a lot of specifics for helping Main Street. If they want a transgender allowed in every potty, they first need to put a chicken in every pot.
The Democratic Party apparatus was largely ignored by President Obama. And Hillary Clinton’s Bill the Butcher style strong arm tactics gave the Clintons lingering party influence that should have dissipated with Bill’s boner back in the 90’s. It’s a party in disarray, and it shouldn’t let recent victories in Virginia and New Jersey go to it’s head.
First of all, that same Gallup Poll that shows President Trump has a 37% approval rating also shows that he has an 81% approval rating among Republicans. His endorsement of Roy Moore shows us he feels Moore is a strong candidate regardless of the fact that he’s an alleged child molester. It also shows us that Republican candidates badly wants his endorsements. Democrats should be concerned, not happy about the type of wave Trump may create in 2018. It could go either way, sure. But Democrats have nothing even close to guaranteed.
Democrats need to do it with elbow grease. Not by depending on anti-Trump sentiment.
2. Right wing media isn’t just a bunch of crackpots
Liberals like to think that the right wing media is comprised of tinfoil hat wearing publishers and creators. It isn’t. Right wing media is a formidable enemy that Democrats need to learn to respect if they ever expect to turn the political tide.
Keep in mind, Republicans control the Presidency, the Senate and the House. 34 out of 50 governors are Republican. Democrats lost 1,000 state seats during the Obama years. So it’s hard to argue that the tide doesn’t need turning.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but liberals have to pay more respect to the influence of sites like Breitbart and Drudge. That doesn’t mean they have to respect their content. But they damn well better respect the fact that Breitbart is currently the 53rd most read site in the US, putting it right there with the Washington Post at 46th. You have to respect that hustle if you want to compete with it.
Liberals also need to wrap their heads around how good guys like Steve Bannon and Matt Drudge are at what they do. Breitbart does an exceptional job of creating a narrative as it sees fit for a large swath of the population that almost surely gets very little news from the mainstream media. And nobody denies that Drudge is a big part of setting the right’s media agenda.
An understandable naiveté on the left about the true power of right wing media certainly helped the rise of President Trump. But continuing to ignore the legitimate power it holds to swing elections will only make things worse.
3. Talking Points Won’t Change Things
Yes, Donald Trump is an ego-maniacal, pathological liar with no actual political beliefs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make him that much different than most politicians to lots of voters. And why should it? President Trump might not hesitate to grab them by the pussy, but Senator Al Franken (R-Minn.) isn’t against grabbing them by the titties once they’re asleep and helpless. Roy Moore might like them young, but there really isn’t much of an outcry for Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to step down in the face of several sexual harassment accusations.
This isn’t about whose alleged crimes are worse. It’s about the perception that both sides of the aisle are morally bankrupt slithering lizard people. If Trump is a scumbag, a lot of people likely think that’s par for the course. Are they wrong?
So it’s great that you think his Tweeting is unpresidential, he’s a racist, he’s a wannabe despot, he’s surrounded by incompetent political neophytes, he has no respect for the Constitution, he’s a narcissistic blowhard…wow, this list is both long and not nearly complete…but the bottom line is it doesn’t matter.
Both parties had decades to do some house cleaning and elect better leaders. Neither side did, and Trump happened. All the talking points in the world won’t change that or prevent it from happening again.
4. He’s not Richard Nixon
And not just because he doesn’t have Nixon’s brains or worldliness. Not because he looks better on the beach in loafers. He’s also just a shit ton crazier. Nixon left office without much of a fight once he realized impeachment was inevitable. He resigned to avoid a constitutional crisis. And prison!
Don’t count on that from Trump. Because he resigned, we don’t know how the courts would have ruled regarding whether or not Nixon could be prosecuted. Where most of us see that as a gray area, to Trump that’s a green light to do whatever the hell he wants until he’s stopped. It’s hard to see him not going out swinging if he ever finds himself in that predicament.
Which he likely won’t anytime soon. Political winds can change overnight, but as of right now there is nothing close to the political will necessary to impeach Trump. And as long as sitting Senators and Congress are ambivalent, there isn’t going to be.
If Democrats orchestrate the Big Kahuna of blue waves in 2018, that could change. But it’s hard to see a situation where two thirds of the Senate votes to impeach unless a whole lot of moving pieces fall into the right places at the right times
5. He’s a savant
Liberals like to argue about whether President Trump is a calculated evil genius or a madman who got lucky. He’s neither. He’s simply a savant when it comes to exploiting cultural fault lines and milking them for every possible bit of media exposure.
That’s not to say he’s not in way over his head. It just means that he is able to smell weakness and pounce. He saw the NFL faced with a controversial social issue at a time when its ratings were already slipping, and he made that issue his own. In regard to the economy, he’s not shy about using more traditional racial dog whistles and blaming “the other” for America’s problems. And he does it in a way that polarizes the countries while galvanizing his base. He’s brilliant at this, but he doesn’t know how to talk respectfully to a grieving widow. That’s what savants do.